The main event is Sunday, when Penn State’s #1-Ranked Nittany Lions come to Minneapolis to take on the #5-ranked Minnesota Women’s volleyball team. It should be a great match, as both teams are talented and well-coached. Click Here for the match preview from gophersports.com and Click Here for the match preview from gopsusports.com
They also registered their most recent victories against the same team — Ohio State — which Minnesota defeated on Friday night at the Sports Pavillion, 3-1 (24-26, 25-17, 27-25, 25-22), winning its seventh straight match and 13th straight against a Big Ten opponent at the Sports Pavilion. Penn State defeated the Buckeyes 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 25-13) on Wednesday night at Ohio State’s St. John Arena in Columbus, OH.
So, how do the Nittany Lions and the Golden Gophers stack up, statistically, based solely on their respective performances against the Buckeyes? For what it’s worth, Penn State wins the statistical comparison. As illustrated in table below, the Nittany Lions outhit Ohio State .353 to .132, totaled 18.0 team blocks to 4.0 for Ohio State, and had 4 services aces to 2 for Ohio State. The Golden Gophers outhit Ohio State .260 to .176, outblocked the Buckeyes 12.5-to-5.0, totaled 62 kills to 55 for the Buckeyes, and had five service aces to two for Ohio State.
|PSU v. OSU||Minnesota v. OSU||Advantage|
|Hitting %||.353||.260||PSU: + 0.93|
|OSU's Hitting %||.132||.176||PSU: - 0.44|
|Team Blocks||18.0||12.5||PSU: + 5.5|
|OSU's Team Blocks||4.0||5.0||PSU: - 1.0|
|Service Aces||4.0||5.0||MN: + 1.0|
|OSU's Service Aces||2.0||2.0||Tie|
Looking at individual play, Minnesota was led by 6-1 Jr. OH Brook Dieter, who totaled 24 kills, 4 service aces, 9 digs and 5 blocks, 6-2 Jr. MB Lauren Gibbemeyer , (17 kills (hitting .531) and 6 blocks), 6-6 Fr. OH Tabitha Love (9 kills), 6-2 Jr. MB Ariana Filho (8 kills and 6 blocks), and 5-11 Sr. Setter Taylor Carico (57 assists, 9 digs and 4 blocks). 5-4 Sr. Libero Christine Tan had 14 digs, followed by 5-10 Jr. DS/L Hailey Cowles and 5-8 So. DS/L Jessica Granquist with 11 digs each.
In Penn State’s victory, the Nittany Lioins were led by 6-3 Sr. OH Megan Hodge (18 kills on .366 hitting, 12 digs and 2 blocks), 6-2 Fr. OH Darcy Dorton (13 kills (hitting .308) 3 digs and 3 blocks), 6-3 Jr. MH Arielle Wilson (11 kills on .625 hitting, with 5 blocks), 6-3 Jr. MH Fatima Balza (a career-high 12 total blocks, along with 4 kills on .571 hitting), and 6-0 Sr. Setter Alisha Glass (47 assists and 13 digs — her sixth double-double this season — and six kills without an error). 5-9 Jr. Libero Alyssa D’Errico recorded eight digs and two service aces, while 5-1 Jr. DS Cathy Quilico added six digs.
OK, we know, it’s cherry picking, too small of a sample, and you really can’t draw meaningful conclusions from this kind of comparison. Still, it’s interesting to us that the Nittany Lions have the statistical advantage given that they faced Ohio State at St. John Arena, whereas Minnesota had the home court advantage.
We’d love to post video highlights of the Minnesota-Ohio State match, but they aren’t up yet on the Big Ten Network. So we’ll make do with these highlights, courtesy of the Big Ten Network, of Penn State’s victory over the Buckeyes: